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Addiction Recovery
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Step 1 of 12

Lesson 20

1. We admitted we were powerless over ________ addiction — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Since this is your first time working a step with a sponsor, you need to understand a few things. This will be hard work, this will be new, this may take some time, you may have strong emotions and need to reach out to your sponsor, you will likely feel lost and vulnerable. But getting started as quick as possible, asking questions, and trying is how you will start to get traction in your recovery.

One way to work a step 1 is to write out in bullet points the history of your addiction from earliest to latest. Bullet point format is only appropriate if you don’t get too emotional or aren’t prone to lengthy talking or getting off topic. Otherwise, you can write out your whole history in a script format so you can read it. Then after reviewing it with your sponsor, schedule a step 1 event with a few trusted people in your life. Then share your history with all those in the meeting. 

How to work a step 1

  1. Write out the history of your addiction in bullet points from earliest to latest. (Feel free to review the cheat sheet and writing prompts, and to read in the books especially Step Into Action for advice about writing a step 1)
  2. Filter out explicit and triggering details.
  3. Review progress regularly with your sponsor (& therapist if you can) and continue to refine.
  4. Schedule a date, place, and invite people to the step 1 event/meeting.
  5. Sponsor presides over the step 1 meeting.
  6. Move onto step 2.

There are recommendations for how to write a good step one, how to review a step 1, where to hold a step 1 event, how to share your step 1 history, how a sponsor conducts the meeting, and even for who can be invited to attend a step 1. Consult the summary cheat sheet.

My Step 1 Cheat Sheet

Additional Resources

Preparing a First Step Inventory (From SAL)
1. Go over with sponsor and therapist for input, to fine-tune and minimize triggers for others
before sharing with the group.

Meeting Procedure
2. Invite several trusted people to hear your inventory. This presentation should be in a
separate and safe space from the regular group meeting.
3. Sponsor leads the meeting and someone opens with prayer.
4. Sponsor and others attending briefly share their stories.
5. The individual shares his inventory.
6. People in attendance make brief supportive comments and reinforce that living in
recovery is possible.
7. Final thoughts or closing remarks from person giving First Step.
8. Closing Prayer

- Source First Step Inventory Document SAL

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